On September 23rd, a team of Ziba’s designers and engineers unveiled a unique bicycle that they’ve been working on for the past six months, in collaboration with nationally renowned frame builders Signal Cycles. The bike, named The Fremont, is the team’s response to a challenge issued by Oregon Manifest, a competition and exhibition seeking the ultimate utility bike.
The Fremont is a practical vehicle that lets regular people get around town and take care of everyday tasks without a car. It’s also a tremendously innovative one, with a unique semi-stepthrough frame, detachable sidecar and integrated cargo bags. Individually, these innovations pose new answers to some old objections about bikes as practical vehicles; together, they’re simply a beautiful piece of transport. The story of how Ziba and Signal rose to the challenge is chronicled in a series of monthly posts, images and videos on design website Core77. An excerpt from September is below.
Ziba: When we started 9 months ago, we really did not know what to expect. At Ziba, we’re used to our projects being meticulously planned down to the last hour and deliverable. This project gave us unprecedented freedom and autonomy, which had its up and downs. On one hand, we were able to take the project to creative heights that we are incredibly excited about. The story of the bike—The New West, the Urban Explorer, and Fremont—manifested itself in a final bike that each of us wish we could own.
On the other hand, a creative blank canvas meant a lot of work. A lot more work than we imagined it to be. When you look at the final product, we hope you see the beautiful craftsmanship, the attention to detail, and just a generally cool bike. But inextricably, we look at it and see late nights spent refining the sidecar, or Saturdays spent fabricating an LED light housing.
Don’t mistake this for regret. Honestly, this bike became something more than work for us. We put in the time because this project was something we genuinely believed in from the start, and that we grew to love as it came to life…
Read the full diary on Core77, and see the results of an early brainstorm from the entire Ziba team in this video.